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C++ Plugin Code Style Guide

C++ is a powerful but complex programming language, and Cinema 4D’s plugin development context adds its own peculiarities. With our internal Cinema 4D C++ code style guide as a basis, we created a simplified version for our wider C++ plugin software development community. The guide explains:

  • Major ‘dos and don’ts’ in the Cinema 4D plugin development context
  • Useful tips to enforce consistency
  • The C++ 11 features that you can use
  • Limitations you should be aware of

A major benefit to following the guide is it will allow us to better understand your code snippets when asking for help on the Plugin Cafe forum.

You can find the guide right here.


PluginCafé r3bØØt

Welcome to Cinema 4D’s plugin development support. You will find all relevant information about our 4 APIs on this site. We publish the documentation via our blog and API documentation. We answer your support question on the plugincafé forum. We also offer a repository for open source Cinema 4D projects. If it’s your first time around, let us help you getting started.

Along with the creation of this new site, we would like to introduce you to our recently formed SDK Support team. You can see right here how we organized to provide you with top-notch technical support. Let us know how we succeed.

Jean-François Yelle

Yannick Puech

Sebastian Bach

Sebastian Bach

Andreas Block

Joey Gaspe

Getting Started

first time around?

Pick the right API for the right job

The very first thing you will need to do is choose which API will suit your needs.
Cinema 4D has... four APIs, the first three may be used to add functionality and are part of the product's distribution:
  • C++
    The C++ SDK is what is used internally by the development team to write all our product's functionalities.  It is robust reliable and the obvious choice for commercial plugins.  The C++ SDK offers the most extended capabilities of all APIs. Yet, if you are new in software development the learning curve may be a bit too steep. Then you probably want to have a look at the scripting languages.
  • Python and COFFEE
    Python and COFFEE are scripting languages. They are a good choice for TDs, easier, more flexible to use than the C++ API, but the feature set exposed is a bit less extended. In general both provide the means for very rapid development. On the other hand your sources are harder to protect in Python and COFFEE, your algorithms are easily exposed to all for reading. Nowadays you will probably prefer Python over COFFEE.
  • Mélange
    Mélange is a bit different, as it provides means to exchange data with the "outside world". It can be downloaded on this site.

Find information

All APIs have their own documentation which can be downloaded from this website.  That documentation contains two things: articles explaining concepts and a functional documentation of the header files.  The later is generated directly from our sources and is written by our development team.  We publish relevant articles on our plugin development blog.  These articles eventually find their way into the API documentation. The first place to look is on your chosen API's page.  We will explain how to setup your development environment and get results fast.

Find help

We all need help once in a while. For this we have a Q&A forum where all are invited to ask questions and provide answers. Our support engineers will do their best to provide a solution to your problem.